Author: Elle Jasper
Release Date: Out Now!!!!
Rating: 4 Stars
Check out Elle's Page and find out more about The Dark Ink Chronicles.
Elle Jasper’s debut series, The Dark Ink Chronicles begins with Afterlight, a dreamy, scrumptious read that I could not put down about tattoo artist Riley Poe whose rare blood type becomes the instrument in a complicated triumvirate that plunges her into the middle of two warring vampire factions on the steamy streets of Savannah.
On one side is the heritage of the Gullah, who have protected her most of her life, and masked her blood from any would-be enemies. Aligned with them is the mysterious House of Dupre, whose family has maintained an almost eternal state of vigilance over the city. Together they must defeat the resurrected threat of Victorian and Valerian Arcos who once left a bloody trail throughout the region.
Afterlight feels like a fully plotted novel, with a sensory explosion at every page turn. Scenes come alive, are rich and meaty, and worth savoring every bit. One can almost inhale the briny air, and sweep aside the Spanish moss. It appears that Jasper’s words are a conduit for all things Southern as well as a setting master: Da Plat Eye, Inksomnia, Bonaventure, and the House of Dupre feel so intensely tangible-and vibrantly real.
Her descriptive scenes exhibit a love for Savannah, its terrain, history, sounds, smells, and the feel of her dreamy town is mesmerizing. It is a perfect setting for Afterlight and Jasper has managed to reinvigorate the paranormal genre inserting the cultural background of the Gullah into the textural fabric of her story. Afterlight almost reminds me a bit of Adrian Phoenix’s Black Dust Mambo, which has the same Southern sinister vibe.
This is one of the freshest debuts that I have come across in a while that gives a reader exactly what they are hankering for. Steadiness, direction as well as plot development, character fleshout are in plentiful supply as is the overall edgy and sexy feel to the book.
But one can also get the sense that things in Afterlight are a bit too easy too, conflicts too easily resolved, or not drawn out enough. Sometimes the erotic draw to a novel can be its overwhelming deprivation between its two leads. Though glimmers of this are present…on the whole it is missing. Jasper leaves us on the proverbial unresolved cliff’s edge, set for the sequel Everdark.
I suspect that more conflict will be in the making for Riley Poe and Eli Dupre, coupled with the overwhelming allure that Jasper has thrust into her novel: Victorian Arcos. Now that is a character that I want to delve into at length. Pardon the pun. :)
A Fiendishly Bookish Review and One Grumpy Cat